St John’s Wood kidnapper loses appeal to quash conviction

Lee Kella lost his appeal

Lee Kella lost his appeal - Credit: Archant

A kidnapper from St John’s Wood who threatening to chop up his hostage unless he was paid a ransom has lost his appeal against his conviction.

Lee Mezdaher Kella, 31, of Orchardson Street, was jailed for nine years at Croydon Crown Court on July 7 last year after he was found guilty of blackmail, wounding with intent, false imprisonment and intimidating a witness.

Today top judges at London’s Criminal Court of Appeal rejected his application to appeal against the conviction.

Kella’s lawyers argued that the convictions were ‘unsafe’ due to various inconsistencies in the evidence.

Mr Justice Spencer said the trial judge had an ‘obligation to see that the trial was fairly conducted and concluded in an orderly way’ - and he had succeeded in that duty.

His victim, Foznur Rahman, was in Little Venice in April 2013 when he had a chance meeting with a man he knew as ‘Matty’.

They went to a nearby flat where Mr Rahman was punched, hit with a dumbbell weight and

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stabbed in the arm.

He was tied up, had a scarf put round his mouth and a pillowcase over his head.

Kella then phoned his brother and demanded £3,500 in exchange for his life.

Luckily Mr Rahman finally managed to escape.

In May, he failed to identify Kella in an ID parade - and it turned out his attacker had threatened him with violence if he picked him out, the court heard.

A second ID parade was organised and this time Kella was identified as ‘Matty’.

He was convicted at his third trial - after two previous trials were aborted.

The judge, sitting with Lord Justice Jones and Judge Eleri Rees, refused Kella permission to appeal.

Related link: Kidnapper jailed after keeping man in Little Venice flat